13 Awesome Google Pixel 2 Camera Tips and Tricks

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are power-packed Android smartphones that come with top-notch software and brilliant cameras. I've been using the Pixel 2 for some time and have enjoyed every bit of it.

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The Pixel 2 camera has earned the best score on the DxO Mark and offers a couple of new features such as the HDR+ Enhanced Mode, Motion Photos, and an amazing Portrait Mode.

Important Note: I'm not including the option to manually control the HDR+ mode setting in this list. Google has advised keeping the HDR+ mode enabled for better photos.

Let's take a look at some of the best tips and tricks that will help you take awesome photos with your Pixel 2.

1. Adjust Manual Exposure

The Pixel 2’s Camera app is simple and does away with various types of modes — pro and manual. However, you can adjust the exposure manually at the time of taking a photo.

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Adjust the slider on the right to lighten or darken a scene. You can drag the slider up or down accordingly to get the result you want.

2. Lock Exposure and Focus

At the time of taking a photo, you will find a small lock on the top of the slider.

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It will lock the exposure level and keep the focus fixed even if the light condition changes or the object in focus moves.

Simply tap on the lock icon after adjusting the exposure.

3. Portrait Mode

One of the best features of Google Pixel 2 is the portrait mode. The Pixel 2 features a single camera and uses its powerful machine learning software to add the depth of the field and blurs the background. The results are simply brilliant.

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Select Portrait Mode by tapping on the hamburger icon in the camera app.

While taking a photo in portrait mode, just tap to focus and make the subject clearer. The less distance between you and your subject, the more beautiful the effect of blur will become. Also, you'll see two photos when you snap using the portrait mode.

The first one will have a blurry background and amazing depth of field. The second photo, on the other hand, is seen in a small thumbnail without any effect.

4. Turn Face Retouching On

This feature works as a beauty mode. The Face Retouching icon will automatically appear at the top of the screen when you switch to the front camera. It's not available while shooting with the rear camera.

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Enabling this feature removes all the blemishes and enhances your skin tone producing a great selfie.

However, it sometimes overdoes the retouching and makes the effect very evident. You can then edit the photo further to make it look natural.

5. Motion Photos

The Pixel 2 also features Motion Photos, which is similar to Apple’s Live Photos. When you snap a photo, the camera records a few seconds of video footage from before and after the shot.

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 To enable or disable it, tap the small circle icon inside a ring.

You'll see this icon for photos that were snapped using this feature. Images taken as motion photos can be saved and shared as a normal photo or you can also save them as video files.

6. Smartburst

The new Smartburst mode captures a stream of shots and Google uses artificial intelligence (made possible with the integration of Google Assistant) to choose the best among the lot. 

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This feature is most useful while shooting a moving subject or even when you are in motion during the shot.

To take photos using Smartburst, simply long press the shutter button.

All the photos taken with Smartburst will be saved in your gallery.

7. Save Location

Enabling Save Location will make it easier for you to look back at the photos few years down the line and identify the place where it was taken.

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Google Photos will group the shots according to their location and you can take a look at them together in one place.

Head to Settings in the camera app and toggle the Save Location on.

You can always disable this feature at any point.

8. Double Tap to Zoom

Although it is better to avoid zoom while taking photos, the Double-tap-to-zoom feature comes in handy in certain situations. With this enabled, you can easily zoom on an object by tapping twice on your camera app's home screen. 

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To enable the Double tap to zoom option, head over to Settings in the app. You will find the option under the Gestures tab.

9. Customize the Volume Rockers

You can customize the volume rockers to capture images. This is a very useful feature in my opinion.

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It comes in handy especially while taking a selfie. Moreover, you can even use the volume rockers to take burst photos or zoom.

This feature can be enabled from the Volume key action option under the Gestures tab in Settings.

10. Avoid Flash

Google Pixel 2 works great in low light and night light. So, unless it's absolutely necessary, avoid using the flash.

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Try to capture the object with whatever light you are getting and you can always edit it with filters to make it look better.

11. Enable Video Stabilization

Google recently revealed that the Pixel 2 uses the Fused Video Stabilization technique, which is based on both optical image stabilization (OIS) and electronic image stabilization (EIS). This results in clear videos without any jitters.

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Head to Settings in the camera app and make sure to enable the Video Stabilization toggle to capture some amazing videos.

12. Use Grid Lines

We cannot stress enough about the importance of using grid lines while taking a photo. Tap the grid icon in the camera app to choose from 3x3, 4x4, and Golden Ratio. Most people use the 3x3 grid, which complies with the rule of thirds in photography.

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You have to place the subject along one of the lines or where the lines intersect to improve your composition.

13. Increase the Panorama Resolution

You can take beautiful panorama shots using the Pixel 2. However, the resolution in the panorama mode is set to Normal by default.

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Make sure to head to Settings and select the resolution to High to take beautiful and detailed panoramic shots.

Click Like a Pro!

With the help of the powerful Android Oreo and the Google Assistant's artificial intelligence, Google Pixel 2 takes amazing photos. The above tips will help you to make the most of its brilliant camera.

Do you own a Google Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL? Have you been experimenting with the camera? We'd love to know what you've found. Let us know in comments.

Sneha Bokil

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